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China needs to engage Dalai Lama in direct talks: Pompeo

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The successor to the Lama must be chosen according to the religious rituals, historical conventions as well as the backing from the ruling Communist Party, says China.

Washington : The US should express publicly that China needs to engage in a meaningful and direct dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told lawmakers, ahead of his visit to Beijing.

The Chinese government officials and the Dalai Lama or his representatives have not met in formal negotiations since 2010. The US has encouraged both sides to engage in meaningful and direct dialogue, without preconditions, to lead to a settlement that resolves differences.


In response to written questions from Members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo said he was committed to press for respect of human rights for Tibetans, including freedom of religion and belief, in his conversations with the Chinese officials, and advocating for the release of Tibetan political prisoners. Pompeo will visit China on Thursday and will exchange views with his Chinese counterpart on bilateral ties and major global and regional issues of common concern, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday.

“I will recommend that the United States express publicly, and at the highest-levels of government that Chinese authorities need to engage in meaningful and direct dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions, to lower tensions and resolve differences,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said he will also raise concerns about the lack of regular access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) for US journalists, diplomats, academics and others. The written answers to the questions were submitted by Pompeo as part of his confirmation process. These answers were recently released by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The top American diplomat assured the lawmakers that he will fully implement the Tibetan Policy Act and in particular “will urge China to cease restrictions on the human rights of Tibetas as well as their religious, linguistic and cultural traditions and practices.

“I will be committed to pressing for respect for human rights, including freedom of religion and belief, in my conversations with Chinese officials, and advocating for the release of Tibetan political prisoners,” he said.

‘US hopes to see major disarmament of nuclear-armed North Korea by 2020’

Seoul:  The US hopes to see “major disarmament” of nuclear-armed North Korea by the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in 2020, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday in Seoul. Speaking the day after an unprecedented summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pompeo told negotiations on Pyongyang’s atomic arsenal could move forward quickly and would take place “most certainly in the president’s first term.” “Major disarmament… We’re hopeful that we can achieve that in the two-and-half years,” he said, adding that there is “a lot of work left to do”. At the first-ever meeting between sitting leaders of the US and North Korea on Tuesday in Singapore, Trump and Kim pledged in a joint statement to work toward the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.” -AFP